In a highly successful auction Wednesday of two Manhattan buildings that the state has declared surplus, taxpayers benefited with winning bids totaling $5.97 million.
An estimated 300 individuals jammed into the auction room on the eighth floor of the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building on 125th Street to witness or participate in the sale. There were 107 registered bidders, according to one official.
“Our goal is to get property on the tax rolls,” said the official, James P. Sproat, director of Real Estate Planning & Development in the Office of General Services. “We’re satisfied that we’ve done the best for the taxpayers.”
Auctioneer Chuck Scheifer was less restrained: “I’m incredibly pleased and thrilled,” he allowed. “Fantastic.”
First on the block was a five-story onetime residence used by the Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities. The minimum bid was $1.5 million.
The 9,630-sf building was sold on the 32nd bid within a few minutes for a surprising $4.7 million to a Queens developer who gave me his name as Peter Bendar, though Sproat subsequently identified the buyer as Peter Yadgaru.
Saying he has been a developer for 20 years, the winning bidder acknowledged that he was “excited.” He added, “It’s a good property.”
Still, the property is a shell that requires a gut renovation because of extensive vandalism and water damage.
It contained 10 railroad-style walk-up apartments, according to the state’s Web site.
The second building on the block is a row house at 419 W. 145th St., in the Sugar Hill Historic District at the northern end of Hamilton Heights.
Bidding started at $400,000 and edged up to $1.27 million until the 39th and final bid was placed by a woman who told me, before hurrying away to sign papers, that her name is Sun Yoo.
From officials who spoke with her later, she apparently is unsure what she’ll do with the structure, which was a non-secure residential facility run by the Office of Children and Family Services.
Consisting of some 4,000 square feet above grade and another 1,018 in the sub-basement, the property is configured with offices and kitchen in the basement, living space on the first floor, and bedroom and baths on the third and fourth floors.
Sproat said the state was unloading surplus properties as part of an initiative by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to raise money.
Also to be auctioned soon are two buildings in the Bronx, a former administrative facility in the community of Edenwald and a second one in Baychester.
They are to be sold with respective minimums of $270,000 and $370,000 on July 24. Details are available here.
If they don’t capture your fancy, there’s always a prison.
On 27.3 acres in the hamlet of Lyon Mountain in Dannemora, a former minimum-security correctional facility is to be auctioned on July 10.
The property includes several acres of undeveloped land and 23 buildings totaling 90,676 square feet. The minimum bid is a mere $140,000.
(If a second prison much closer to Manhattan might prove to be of interest, the former Arthur Kill Correctional Facility on the southern tip of Staten Island is for sale as well, but not at auction.)
Tomorrow: Weekly Roundup
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